AN endangered leatherback sea turtle has died after hours ensnared in a fishing net at Doñana National Park, Huelva. 

Underwater firemen conducted a rescue operation to save the turtle but the injuries it sustained from hours of imprisonment were too severe. 

The turtle was first sighted by a fisherman, from Acebuche, Arroyo, who saw the reptile flapping in distress after becoming ensnared in a net.  


National park authorities identified the species as a leatherback turtle, or Dermochelys coriacea, the largest turtle extant.

72748827_2673246342889157_6315351509394155438_o
FREED: Turtle given aid on land (Credit: Thorn, L. M., Cobos, D. and Round, I.)

After a precautionary assessment by the Andalusian Marine Environment Agency, the fire service?s Underwater Rescue Unit plunged into the sea to free the turtle. 

106511206_2673246519555806_7491202214238310149_o
HEROES: Authorities rush to help

On shore, the turtle was given necessary veterinary care and the shade of a large umbrella. 

106471668_2673246346222490_8790255504429770797_o
PEACEFUL: Turtle safe on the shore (Credit: Thorn, L. M., Cobos, D. and Round, I.)

Due to its unstable condition, the reptile was then moved to the Andalusian Marine Environment Management Center where it later died. 

106162908_2673246442889147_5834772889788239723_o
RELOCATION: Turtle moved for rehabilitation (Credit: Thorn, L. M., Cobos, D. and Round, I.)

Globally, the leatherback sea turtle is listed as vulnerable, but many subpopulations (such as in the Pacific and Southwest Atlantic) are critically endangered. 


“It is the responsibility of our whole society to ensure the conservation of these species and their habitats,” said a statement from Doñana National Park. 

Alongside firefighters, many marine conservation staff and residents of the area aided the rescue mission to transfer the turtle from the water to the beach. 

106489136_2673246352889156_896948362025721722_o
COMMUNITY: Locals help out (Credit: Thorn, L. M., Cobos, D. and Round, I.)

On average, a leatherback sea turtle weighs between 600 and 1500 pounds. They are the fourth-heaviest modern reptile behind only three species of crocodile.

Leatherback sea turtles are easily differentiated from other species as they are the only type without a bony shell. It also has a teardrop-shaped body, making it the most hydrodynamic of its kind. 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.